Investigation of Periodontal Outcomes After Sanative Therapy Among Patients With or Without Dry Mouth
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Untreated periodontal disease can have detrimental consequences on oral health. Consequences such as tooth loss can significantly affect an individual’s daily habits such as eating, speaking, and socializing. Sanative therapy (ST) followed by ongoing periodontal maintenance appointments is necessary to attenuate periodontal disease and prevent tooth loss. In addition to ST and periodontal maintenance appointments, saliva has an essential role in oral health. However, the relationship between salivary flow and periodontal outcomes, particularly in terms of low salivary production, has not been extensively investigated. The first objective was to determine if patients with dry mouth have similar probing depths as patients without dry mouth when receiving regular periodontal maintenance post-ST. The second objective was to determine if patients who alternate periodontal maintenance appointments between a general dental clinic and a periodontal specialty clinic have different probing depths than patients who solely have periodontal maintenance at a periodontal specialty clinic post-ST. Patients who had completed initial ST 1 to 5 years prior and continued with routine periodontal maintenance provided an unstimulated saliva sample and completed questionnaires assessing their symptoms of dry mouth. It was hypothesized that patients who have inadequate salivary flow exhibit worsened probing depths than patients who have adequate salivary output. However, periodontal health was maintained post-ST to present day for both groups. The second hypothesis was that patients who have periodontal maintenance performed solely at a periodontal specialty clinic have improved periodontal outcomes than those who alternate appointments 1 to 5 years post-ST There was a significant difference in probing depth between patients who do or do not alternate appointments (p < 0.05). Patients who do not alternate appointments had significantly greater probing depth than those who alternate. This may be due to the periodontist’s recommendation for patients of unstable periodontal health to be solely seen at specialty clinic.